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55 Thanksgiving quotes to share with family and friends

From Voltaire to Drew Barrymore, these inspirational words remind us that we have a lot to be thankful for.

It’s hard to believe that to this day, Americans continue to celebrate a holiday that originated all the way back in 1621. Even though our current-day Thanksgiving feasts look a little different than what they served back then (cod, bass and porridge topped the menu), it’s still a holiday that’s very close to our hearts. 

Whether you spend the day gobbling up a big meal alongside your relatives, nestled around a fireplace with friends or sharing rich oral history that honors Indigenous people, it tends to circle back to a central theme: our loved ones. Even though Thanksgiving gatherings can get a bit chaotic, it’s important to take a few moments to pause and remember matters most.

There are so many ways you can weave Thanksgiving quotes into the day. Make gratitude the main theme and write the quotes on place cards, a mini chalkboard or create a sign for the door that welcomes guests. Use a meaningful family-centric quote as an Instagram caption for any siblings, cousins or grandparents who aren't able to celebrate with you. Memorize a few funny quotes ahead of time and include them in your toast to lighten the mood.

No matter how you decide to observe the day, Thanksgiving is a reminder to recognize the blessings in our lives, and these inspirational words do just that.

Quotes about gratitude

  • “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” — Marcel Proust
  • “Count your blessings, not your problems. Count your own blessings, not someone else’s. Remember that jealousy is when you count someone else’s blessings instead of your own.” — Roy T. Bennett, "The Light in the Heart"
  • “Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.” — Amy Collette
  • “You never know where a blessing can come from.” — Teena Marie
  • “When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” — Tony Robbins
  • “Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” — Charles Dickens
  • “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” — Epicurus
  • “It’s never too late. Don’t focus on what was taken away. Find something to replace it, and acknowledge the blessing you have.” — Drew Barrymore
  • “Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” — Henri Frederic Amiel
  • “When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.” — C.S. Lewis
  • “Living in a state of gratitude is the gateway to grace.” — Arianna Huffington
  • “I think in every lesson there’s a blessing, and there’s so many blessings from all the lessons I’ve had to go through in life.” — Alonzo Mourning
  • “Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” — Karl Barth
  • “You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.” — Elizabeth Gilbert
  • “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” — Alphonse Karr, "A Tour Round My Garden"
  • “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” — A.A. Milne, "Winnie-the-Pooh"
  • “When you wish someone joy, you wish them peace, love, prosperity, happiness ... all the good things.” — Maya Angelou
  • “No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” — Alfred North Whitehead
  • “A blessing is a circle of light drawn around a person to protect, heal and strengthen.” — John O’Donohue
  • “Gratitude opens the door to the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude.” — Deepak Chopra
  • “Giving is the key to living life of abundance blessings.” — Lailah Gifty Akita
  • “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • “If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” — Meister Eckhart
  • “Blessings sometimes show up in unrecognizable disguises. ” — Janette Oke
  • “Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.” — Lionel Hampton
  • “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” — Willie Nelson
  • “Gratitude will shift you to a higher frequency, and you will attract much better things.” — Rhonda Byrne
  • “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” — John F. Kennedy
  • “Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” — Voltaire 
Mother and daughter cooking together in kitchen
Jose Luis Pelaez / Getty Images stock

Quotes about family and friends

  • “Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” — Michael J. Fox
  • “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” — Mother Teresa
  • “Nothing is better than going home to family and eating good food and relaxing.” — Irina Shayk
  • “Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.” — Anthony Brandt
  • “To have friends who will always take you to higher ground is an incalculable blessing.” — John Bytheway
  • “Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” — "Lilo & Stitch"
  • “That’s what people do who love you. They put their arms around you and love you when you’re not so lovable.” — Deb Caletti
  • “I sustain myself with the love of family.” — Maya Angelou
  • “There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues … are created, strengthened and maintained.” — Winston Churchill
  • “This is part of what a family is about, not just love. It’s knowing that your family will be there watching out for you. Nothing else will give you that. Not money. Not fame. Not work.” — Mitch Albom, "Tuesdays with Morrie"
  • “It didn’t matter how big our house was; it mattered that there was love in it.” —Peter Buffett
  • “You need to make time for your family no matter what happens in your life.” — Matthew Quick, "The Silver Linings Playbook"
  • “What greater blessing to give thanks for at a family gathering than the family and the gathering.” — Robert Brault
  • “In the family, happiness is in the ratio in which each is serving the others, seeking one another’s good, and bearing one another’s burdens.” — Henry Ward Beecher
  • “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” — Jane Howard
Diverse Group of Young People Enjoying Dinner Party
SeventyFour / Getty Images stock

Funny quotes

  • “Hope my relatives are getting along with the professional line sitter I hired to hold my place at the front of the Thanksgiving food line.” — John Lyon
  • “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” — Oscar Wilde, "A Woman of No Importance"
  • “What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it 'Thanksgiving?'” — Erma Bombeck
  • “I’m from Canada, so Thanksgiving to me is just Thursday with more food. And I’m thankful for that.” — Howie Mandel
  • “Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie.” — Jim Davis
  • “Even though we’re a week and a half away from Thanksgiving, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” — Richard Roeper
  • “Thanksgiving: when the people who are the most thankful are the ones who didn’t have to cook.” — Melanie White
  • “You can tell you ate too much for Thanksgiving when you have to let your bathrobe out.” — Jay Leno
  • “I love spending Thanksgiving surrounded by all these great friends I met in the Best Buy parking lot.” — John Lyon
  • “Every Thanksgiving I bring the champagne, because in my family we all know what our strengths are.” — Gloria Fallon